It appears that Premier Colin Barnett and the City of Fremantle engaged in a bit of ‘alternative facts’ spin when they announced late last year that 1,500 state government staff would relocate to Fremantle to the Kings Square project.
A reliable source informs me that nearly one-third of them will relocate from Marine House opposite the Esplanade Hotel in Essex Street, so they are already in Fremantle and will only move one kilometre further east.
I hear marine-related officers are not too happy about it as it will take them further away from their boats in the Fishing Boat Harbour.
There has been some confusion about the day of the Fremantle WA State Election Forum, so just to confirm that it is Tuesday February 28 at 6.30 pm.
It is as always at the Tannock Hall of the University of Notre Dame on the corner of Cliff and Croke streets.
All candidates have been invited, but it is a bit of a tradition for the Liberal candidate not to turn up, so let’s wait and see.
I have a lot of respect for the opinion of architect and urban planner Dr Linley Lutton, who used to be on the City of Fremantle’s Design Advisory Committee until he resigned from it, so I was very interested to read Lutton’s article about infill and density in the POST community newspapers.
Dr Lutton argues that the WA government push for higher density and infill is not working and is outdated and that apartments are the least preferred living options in Perth. He also writes that apartments can’t be adapted and are not family friendly, but that the biggest housing demand by 2031 will be for families and not singles and couples.
The random erection of ugly and big buildings in town centres also worries the city planner and he writes that it is not true that Perth is more low density than other capital cities. In fact we are at similar levels of density as Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane and not far from that in Melbourne.
While high density is often pushed in older character suburbs it is hard to understand why the WA State Government does not insist on higher density in new suburbs where people are still mainly building one and two storey houses and no apartment blocks or town houses.
The urban myth that people are abandoning their cars is also not supported by facts with tens of thousands abandoning public transport even when they live near public transport, according to government figures.
Linley Lutton says that higher density apartment living can work well, but planners need to take into account that ‘culturally rich street life’ and work opportunities are essential for successful highrise living.
As I and others have often argued the success of city planning and new development is dependent on understanding what the community wants and needs. There is a need for better and more intense collaboration between planning experts and the community, starting as early as possible in the process, so that community opinion is not being dismissed as negative, reactive, NIMBY and anti-development.
I am personally very happy that so much new development is happening in Fremantle and much more planned, but we need to actively discourage ugly, boring, mediocre new buildings ‘designed’ by lazy architects who have no respect for Fremantle’s unique character.
While the urban sprawl is not sustainable the indiscriminate infill targets for older character suburbs also lack reality and need to be reconsidered.
Hello I am back after not having power since 7 am yesterday, so many parts of Beaconsfield and South Fremantle were in the dark for 31 hours and that is a very costly exercise.
Yesterday Peaches had to close and IGA next to it ran on a generator, but today IGA had to close and Peaches had a generator. No doubt a lot of food will have to be thrown in the bin and of course all the casual staff did not have to come to work, so these kids also suffer financially and I doubt they will get compensation.
It is the fourth time in eight weeks that my street was without power for many hours, two of them were scheduled but the other two weren’t. That is not acceptable!
I am not sure at all that WESTERN POWER(less) is a very good commodity to privatise.
Fremantle Councillor Sam Wainwright and City of Melville Councillor Tim Barling were arrested at the Roe 8 site today after chaining themselves to fences to stop bulldozers from entering the site and destroying precious wetlands.
It is a risky business for Councillors to do this kind of non-violent protest because if they get convicted it could mean they are no longer eligible to be on local council.
Good on them for standing up for what is right and for protesting against the destruction of the Beeliar Wetlands!